Alkaline batteries account for 80% of manufactured batteries in the US which is just 3 billion of the over 10 billion individual units produced worldwide. These are labeled Alkaline and are the typical 9 volt, C, D, AA, and AAA that we use every day in our homes.
Americans buy almost 3 billion single use (Alkaline) batteries each year to power our common household items. That is 32 batteries per family or 10 for each of us…The question then becomes; do you want to add landfills to dump this waste when batteries no longer supply power, or do you want to recycle them.
Single-use batteries, including alkaline and carbon-zinc types, are certainly not classified as Household Hazardous Waste (HHW), and are safe for disposal in the trash. Still, most localities will not want you to do this. The issue of quantity and that there are recyclable materials such as manganese, zinc, steel , paper, and plastic that can be reclaimed are why there are so many recycle options.
Use the RecyclingLocator website (US locations), scroll to the bottom of the page and plug in your zip code; I find that when I use my zip code I have 38 locations where I can drop off used batteries. This does not include the King County Library System (which has a satellite location within 2 blocks), the city of Kirkland where I live (7 sites listed) and the King County Waste Services which provides dozens of locations along with their 5 hazardous waste disposal sites. RecyclingLocator is a great resource, but is not the only tool; use Google to find additional local options, you will be amazed.
Rechargeable batteries are nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride and lithium ion. These batteries are typically found in cordless power tools, cellular and cordless phones, laptop computers, camcorders, digital cameras, and remote control toys.
Residents can take rechargeable batteries (look for the symbol on the battery) to retail locations that participate in the Call2Recycle (formerly RBRC) program. Use the link to find a list of retailers and their locations. I also found that my city and county have programs and options…use Google, you will be amazed.
Motor Vehicle Batteries
Lead acid batteries are used in your car, boat, and motorcycle. They are a dangerous waste. There disposal is regulated and you must properly recycle them or dispose at a permitted facility. Typically retailers that sell these products will recycle them for you. In Washington State those that participate in recycling these batteries have an e-Cycle logo. You can get more information from members of the e-Cycle Washington program or visit their website. You can also find a wealth of information on the internet…Do not let these sit in your garage, dispose of them properly.
Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) Batteries
An Uninterruptible power supply (UPS), also known as an uninterruptible power source or a battery backup, is a device that keeps computers running for a short period of time after a power failure. The device usually derives its power from lead-acid batteries. You will find that some of the locations that recycle vehicle batteries also recycle UPS batteries. If you go to the website for the source of your UPS product you will find instructions on how to recycle, or you can look at their trade-up, and buy-back programs. APC is the source of my UPS and on their website are multiple options that also includes a relationship with Staples. Use Google; again I think you will be amazed…Do not put these in your trash.
Green is something you do for yourself and for your Children.